November 30, 2016 / 8:46 AM / in 8 months

Turkey's interest rate hike was technical, economy minister says

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ISTANBUL, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Turkish central bank's decision to hike interest rates this month was a "technical requirement" and, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Wednesday, adding he did not fault the bank for the move.

Zeybekci also said in a speech in Ankara that he nevertheless remained opposed to higher interest rates. President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called on the bank to lower rates, to spur spending and boost a flagging economy.

Turkey's central bank this month raised rates for the first time in nearly three years, hiking its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to prop up a tumbling lira. (Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Humeyra Pamuk)

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